Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9AM-5PM M-F

703-324-1460
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Parkway
Suite 905, Fairfax, VA 22035

Laura Grape,
Executive Director

Native Seedling Sale

The district's annual seedling sale makes low-cost bare-root native shrub and tree seedlings available to Northern Virginia residents. Seedling packages are announced in January, go on sale in February and are available for pickup in April. Trees and shrubs help cleanse water, prevent soil erosion, provide habitat, cool our climate and clean our air. Consider adding native trees and shrubs to your community today!

2019 NATIVE SEEDLING SALE

Incredible Edibles

This year's seedling sale features shrubs and trees that serve as valuable food sources for wildlife and delicious treats for us! These berries, fruits, and nuts are sure to bring new life to your garden! They also help clean our water and air, prevent soil erosion, provide valuable habitat, and add beauty and resilience to your landscape. Enjoy!

The Shrub and Small Tree Package features 10 seedlings for $17.50. The Tree Package includes 6 seedlings sold for $12.50. A full, nonrefundable payment must accompany your order by Tuesday, April 2, or until supplies run out. You will receive a confirmation receipt with a map to the pickup site at Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club, 3516 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church VA 22044. Orders may be picked up on Friday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., or Saturday, April 6, 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Order Online Starting February 1

Help us streamline our operations by paying online with a credit or debit card. Orders for 2019 seedling packages open February 1. Please follow this link to our online seedling sale store.  View online seedling sale store: http://nvswcd-velocitypayment-com.3dcartstores.com/

Shrub and Small Tree Package (10 Seedlings for $17.50)

2 American Wild Plum (Prunus americana)

American Wild Plum

This small tree grows to a height of 20-35 feet. It has small white blossoms April to May. It grows yellow to red edible fruit and pale yellow foliage in fall. Perfect for rocky or sandy soils. It grows well in full to part sun, dry to moist soils.

Hardiness Zone 3-8.

Photo credits: Copyright Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

 

2 Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)

Pawpaw

This small tree grows to a height of 20-35 feet. It has long, broad leaves and the largest fruit native to our continent. It forms stands from root suckers and has yellow fall foliage. It grows best in full sun to shade in moist, well-drained soil. 

Hardiness Zone 5-8.

Photo credits: Copyright Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

 

2 American Elderberry(Sambucus canadensis)

American elderberry

This small shrub grows to 6-12 feet. White flowers bloom in May to July and dark purple berry-like fruit appear in July to September. It is a great food source for birds. It grows best in part shade and moist soils, but it is very tolerant to most conditions.

Hardiness Zone 3-9.

Left and Middle Photo credits: Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 2018; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

Right Photo credits: James H. Miller and Carl V. Miller, 2005; hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

2 Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Black Chokeberry

This small shrub grows to 3-6 feet. White or pink-ish flowers bloom April-May, followed by black berries and crimson red fall foliage. It can be pruned as a hedge. It grows best in full to part sun, wet to dry soils.

Hardiness Zone 3-8.

Photo credits: Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 2018; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

 

2 American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

American Hazelnut

This medium shrub grows to a height of 10-15 feet. Brown or red flower clusters appear in May to April with yellow orange foliage in fall. The brown hazelnuts that grow in the fall are edible. This tree supports a variety of wildlife including songbirds and small mammals. It grows best in partial sun, dry to moist soils.

Hardiness Zone 4-9.

Left and Right Photo credits: Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 2018; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

Middle Photo credits: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

 

Tree Package (6 Seedlings for $12.50)

2 Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

Flowering Dogwood

This tree grows to a height of 20-50 feet. White flowers bloom April to May with red fall foliage. Migrant birds are attracted to the flowering dogwood's red-orange berries. This state tree of Virginia prefers part sun with dry to moist soils.

Hardiness Zone 5-8.

Photo credits: Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 2018; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

 

2 American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

American Persimmon

This tree grows to a height of 15-100 feet. It blooms bell-shaped yellow flowers April to June with large sweet orange fruit in Autumn. It prefers full sun to shade and is adaptable to many soils, including wet to moist soils.

Hardiness Zone 3-9.

Photo credits: Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, 2018; Photos by Kohn Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson

 

2 Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)

Common Hackberry

This tree grows to a height of 40-100 feet. Yellow-green flowers bloom in April to May, followed by small purple berries. This tree serves as an important host for butterfly larvae. It grows best in full sun to full shade, in dry to wet soils.

Hardiness Zone 2-9.

Left Photo credits: Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org

Right Photo credits: Vern Wilkins, Indiana University, Bugwood.org

 

Hardiness Zone

The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map shows 10 different zones, each of which represents an area of winter hardiness for plants. Fairfax County falls into zones 6b-7a. All of our seedlings are suited for planting in the greater Washington, DC area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of our most frequently asked Seedling Sale questions and helpful answers from NVSWCD staff.

What’s the skinny on the Seedling Sale?

The Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District holds a Native Tree and Shrub Seedling Sale each spring. The theme and exact species vary from year to year. Orders open online in February. In 2019, pickup is on April 5 and 6 at the Sleepy Hollow Bath and Racquet Club in Falls Church.

When should I place my order?

Please order early! In 2019, online ordering opens in February and will continue until Tuesday, April 2. If that date has passed, don’t panic, as there may still be an opportunity to purchase a package.

Are there extras? Can I just show up at pickup?

Yes, but... If you don’t make the pre-order deadline, we cannot guarantee that you will get the tree or shrub package of your choice. We often do have extra packages or individual seedlings for sale on the pickup days (April 5 and 6).

Can my spouse/child/parent/neighbor/best friend pick up my order for me?

Yes. They will need to have your first and last name and a generally honest disposition. A printout of the order confirmation is helpful but not required. No need to notify us in advance.

What happens if I miss the pickup date?

Don’t miss the pickup date! If you can’t make it, please send a friend! (See above.) If you do miss it, you can coordinate to pick them up from our office during business hours the following week. If they go unclaimed, we reserve the right to donate them before they dry out. Seedling sale purchases are nonrefundable.

How large are the packages?Small boy and girl hold seedling packages

Smaller than you might think! These are first- and second-year bare-root trees and shrubs, which means they are small and come without soil. We add a colored ribbon, put together each package, and wrap the roots in wet newspaper and a plastic bag to keep them moist. In the photo at right, each child is holding one package. Each package of 6-10 seedlings bundled together is typically 1-3 feet long and 4-6 inches wide.

What were last year's ribbon colors?

Check out our new page, Previous Years' Seedling Ribbon Colors, for species names and the color of the ribbon (flagging tape) we used to identify it.

What should I bring with me for pickup?

A small bucket or basket. You don’t want the package to tip over and spill water on your backseat. Don’t have a bucket? A sturdy double paper bag or large trash bag will do the job.

How do I care for them?

Keep the roots moist and plant your seedlings as soon as possible. We provide a planting guide when you pick up your seedlings. Dig a hole wider than it is deep. We recommend watering throughout the summer for the first year, especially if your tree or shrub is in direct sunlight. Fertilizer is not needed. A light top-dressing of leaf mulch is optional.

How fast will they grow?

The seedlings typically start out in a dormant state, but when cared for properly, they can grow into lovely landscape specimens faster than you think. Each species has a different growing speed. Since it can be difficult to protect a small first-year seedling from mowers, deer, rabbits and – occasionally – human feet, we include two of every species in the packages.

Rarely – once every several years – we have had a supplier issue (not VDOF) where a large number of seedlings of a particular shrub or tree have not survived. In those cases, we give feedback to the supplier and monitor their seedlings in following years to ensure that it is not a repeat occurrence. Even when that happens, we believe the benefit and low cost we offer by purchasing in bulk outweighs the risk. It’s still a great deal!

Where do you get the seedlings?

Typically we get most of our seedlings from the Virginia Department of Forestry. We like to support our state forestry department and help increase demand for native trees and shrubs. We also purchase seedlings from other neighboring states and private nurseries.

What are the funds used for?

Good question! First, the funds cover the cost of the seedlings and associated program costs. NVSWCD uses any leftover funds to support educational programs, including the high school Envirothon competition, biological stream monitoring, storm drain education, Youth Conservation Camp, Science Fair awards, and other outreach activities. Thank you for supporting these efforts through the Seedling Sale!

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us.